Future Story Lab

Investigative Journalism and Media Innovations
( 2020-06-01 — 2022-05-31 )

The Future Story Lab is an innovative platform aiming to build the capacity of journalists and media makers, and to create a space for professional networking and collaboration for quality media production. This platform is set to provide learning and mentoring opportunities for media makers, in that way strengthening local investigative journalism. 



The idea of the Future Story Lab is built on the three main pillars: creating a platform for media and community engagement, integrating innovative tools and methods to strengthen investigative journalism, and launching a new media platform, that would be based on the principles of engaged journalism.


A platform for media and community engagement

Using online tools, organising local or international events, and providing mentoring to both aspiring and experienced media makers, the Future Story Lab provides prominent opportunities for professional development, networking, and collaboration with our experts and community members.


Innovative tools for investigative journalism

The platform also gives access to innovative and interactive tools and methods – as part of this project, an interactive tool “Karstos pedos”, which can be literally translated as “hot feet”, was launched. The tool aims to raise transparency by collecting and publishing public declarations of politicians, high-ranking civil servants, showing their interests in businesses, as well as their ties with public money. Through a powerful graphic visualization tool Linkurious, “Karstos pedos” also demonstrates how national and EU funds are used.


Engaged journalism platform

The new media platform is under development as part of the Future Story Lab. This platform is being built on the principles of engaged journalism – interactive functionalities within the platform will invite the audience to take an active part in media making and agenda-setting. Every reader will have a chance to voice their opinion on news pieces, vote for topics that need to be investigated. They will also have access to use innovative tools for engagement, such as SecureDrop to share information secretly and securely. Media content production will be supported through the Local Investigative Journalism Fund and will be published on the platform.


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    State Data Protection Inspectorate (SDPI) must not obstruct journalistic activity in Lithuania

    Today, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and partner organisations have written to Director Raimondas Andrijauskas and Deputy Director Danguolė Morkūnienė of the Lithuanian State Data Protection Inspectorate (SDPI)’s to express concern at their attempted obstruction of investigative project “Karštos Pėdos” (“Hot Feet”)’s journalistic activity.

    Data guards fight against transparency

    Data guards threaten the journalist project “Hot Feet” with fines.
    Under the pretext of personal data, relying on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is becoming an antonym for transparency, the State Data Protection Inspectorate (SDPI) continues to obstruct journalists in fulfilling their duty to protect the public interest and the public’s right to know. Now its target is the journalistic project “Hot Feet”.

    November 05 2021

    First Mediathon in Trnava was marked by inspiration and cooperation

    Mediathlon – a week-long training brought together journalists and media experts to dive into investigative and data journalism.

    April 30 2021

    Media4Change’s creative workshops – investigative journalism incubator

    Participants of the Media4Change’s Investigative journalism competition from Lithuania and Slovakia spent 36 hours per week on understanding the principles of investigative journalism, exploring various important topics in their fields of interest, deepening analytical skills and networking with like-minded people. A workshop week full of inspiring and creative online workshops and discussions was the final element of the second stage of the Investigative journalism competition. During the sessions 15 teams from Lithuania and 9 from Slovakia improved their investigations’ plans for the final evaluation.

    April 07 2021

    First success of the Local Investigative Journalism Competition 2021

    Local Investigative Journalism Competition 2021 is moving to its next phase! Media4Change and European Dialogue are delighted to see that a large number of journalists have shown interest in the Competition.

    Investigative Journalism Competition starts today: 32.000 EUR to fund local investigative journalism

    Have you ever wanted to dive deep into investigative journalism and bring a story that needs deeper analysis to light but never had a proper chance or needed competences to take the first step? We give you the opportunity to do exactly that – Media4Change and European dialogue is launching Investigative Journalism Competition to fund collaborative journalistic investigations. Collaborative teams made of journalists, whose curiosity and attention reaches further than major cities in Lithuania or Slovakia, will share up to EUR 16.000 in each country to implement their investigations.

    Future Story Lab is progressing to support local investigative journalism

    The creation of the Future Story Lab, an innovative platform aiming to build the capacity of journalists and media makers, and to create a space for professional networking and collaboration for quality media production, is progressing.

    About ‘Hot Feet’ database on Medium

    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) team writes about our database ‘Hot Feet’, that connects politically exposed persons with government spending.

    Educational Material